Hammertime: It’s wintertime, we’re ready for it

Albertans are ready for the cool, cold, freezing winter

Mike Rainone

Hammertime

It’s winter in Alberta and the gentle breezes blow, 70 miles an hour, and 35 below.

Oh, how we love our Alberta when the snow is up to our butts and when we take a big breath of fresh air our nose gets frozen shut. Yes good folks, the weather here is wonderful, so I guess we’ll just hang around. Of course there will be those who will sneak away for their annual sun and sand escape, while the rest of us would never leave our ‘Alberta Winter wonderland’ because our feet are already frozen to the ground.

Brrrrr…it only hurts for a few days

No, I am not referring to the annual free flu shot, which I hope that you have all had already?

The geese have gone, the ground hog is snoozing, and the grain is hopefully all in the bins, because there is absolutely no doubt that Old Man Winter has hit us with all his vengeance this month. But what the heck, lets dig in/dig out and enjoy the next chilly, but always invigorating six months or so. After all, look at it this way…winter is the only season when we can get outside and slide, and skate, and curl, and ice fish, play hockey, and all the rest, and then rush back inside and snuggle up with a cup of hot chocolate in front of a warm fire or furnace.

On the same subject, isn’t it great that with all the modern technology we are now blessed with we can casually enjoy our toast and porridge in the morning, and then punch the remote control starter while reading the morning paper and our vehicles will be toasty warm when we head out into those frigid winter mornings. While some hardy souls like to shovel snow for their exercise others will fire up the snow blowers or hire the kid next door to do the job for a few extra bucks.

Bottom line, we still have to get out and drive our vehicles, and should always respect the fact that the roads are icy and the weather can change quicker than you can say ‘blizzard.’

The weather prognosticators now have all sorts of satellite images to make their forecasts with, and it is always a good idea to check on those before heading out, especially on a long trip with our very precious cargo on board. Through the magic of the Internet and all those other new fancy gadgets we can also tap up an instant road report, which actually includes updated camera shots of all major highways.

Our always-safety conscious emergency officials are constantly reminding us of what we should consider keeping in our vehicles during the winter, just in case of sudden problems or breakdowns. These can include: phone and recharger, booster cables, road maps, a list of numbers to call for help, blankets, first aid kit, road flares, extra water and a food pack with non-perishable items, tow rope, spare tire, extra clothes and boots, candles, and a few matches. Have a fabulous fun winter but always ‘be prepared’ whereever you go.

Now let’s have a little fun

• I started a new exercise program this week…every day I do ‘diddley squats.’

• After 40 your body has a mind of its own, and after 50 it will frequently remind us of that.

• We must always take care of our dogs, because even if the world falls apart they will still be there for us.

• An elderly man was stopped by the Police at 1:00 a.m. and the officer asked where he was going at this time of the night. ‘I am going to get a lecture about alcohol abuse and the effects it has on the human body.’ ‘Who gives you lectures at this time of the night?’ the officer inquired. ‘My wife,’ the gentleman quietly replied.

With winter underway and Christmas quickly approaching there will always be a great number of people who may be down on their luck and will need a little extra help and support.

The traditional Salvation Army collection boxes are already in place, the Santa’s’ Anonymous program will begin soon, and the Ponoka Food Bank will also be extremely busy at this time of the year and your kindly donations are greatly appreciated. In the meantime have a blast preparing your annual neighbourhood Grey Cup Party, start your Christmas Shopping engines early, and then have a great week, all of you.

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